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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Penalties for inaccuracies: how to process the penalty: suspension of a penalty: suspension conditions: specific suspension conditions

You must check the date from which these rules apply for the tax or duty you are dealing with. See CH81011 for full details.

A careless inaccuracy will often, but not always, arise from a systematic failure or weakness in the person’s record-keeping system. So it is important to identify the underlying cause of the failure or weakness in the record keeping that caused the return to be inaccurate.

You must set at least one specific condition that will help the person avoid a further penalty for a careless inaccuracy. But you should also set the generic condition, see CH83155, in all cases.

The purpose of a specific suspension condition is to help the person address the specific systemic failure or record-keeping weakness that led to the careless inaccuracy. The specific condition(s) you set will therefore depend on what you have found in your compliance check.


  • where inaccuracies arose because existing systems or record-keeping processes were not good enough to ensure a correct return, you may set a suspension condition requiring the person to introduce or improve a system or process
  • where inaccuracies arose because staff were not using existing systems or record-keeping processes correctly, you may set a condition that the person provides additional training for the staff. But providing the training is only part of the answer. You also need to be sure that the training is effective. You therefore need to consider another condition that focuses on the business taking appropriate steps to control the risk of the error recurring. If this can be demonstrated, the person will have met this condition.

The examples at CH83156 (direct tax) and CH83157 (indirect tax) include a number of specific conditions.

But the specific conditions that you set will depend on the facts of each case.

FA07/SCH24/PARA14 (3)